The changing face of hospitalisation due to gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Mar;33(5):585-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04563.x. Epub 2011 Jan 5.


Background: Temporal changes in the incidence of cause-specific gastrointestinal (GI) complications may be one of the factors underlying changing medical practice patterns.

Aim: To report temporal changes in the incidence of five major causes of specific gastrointestinal (GI) complication events.

Methodology: Population-based study of patients hospitalised due to GI bleeding and perforation from 1996 to 2005 in Spain. We report crude rates, and estimate regression coefficients of temporal trends, severity and recorded drug use for five frequent GI events. GI hospitalisation charts were validated by independent review of large random samples.

Results: The incidence per 100 000 person-years of hospitalisations due to upper GI ulcer bleeding and perforation decreased over time [from 54.6 and 3.9 in 1996 (R² = 0.944) to 25.8 and 2.9 in 2005 (R² = 0.410) respectively]. On the contrary, the incidence per 100 000 person-years of colonic diverticular and angiodysplasia bleeding increased over time [3.3 and 0.9 in 1996 (R² = 0.443) and 8.0 and 2.6 in 2005 (R² = 0.715) respectively]. A small increasing trend was observed for the incidence per 100 000 person-years of intestinal perforations (from 1.5 to 2.3 events). Based on data extracted from the validation process, recent recorded drug intake showed an increased frequency of anticoagulants with colonic diverticular and angiodysplasia bleeding, whereas NSAID and low-dose aspirin use were more prevalent in peptic ulcer bleeding and colonic diverticular bleeding respectively.

Conclusions: From 1996 to 2005, hospitalisations due to peptic ulcer bleeding and perforation have decreased significantly, whereas the number of cases of colonic diverticular and angiodysplasia bleeding have increased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Perforation / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin